Suicide bomber strikes police station in Pakistan’s northwest

A Taliban suicide bomber killed eight people in an attack on a police station in Pakistan’s insurgency-infested Northwest Frontier Province. The attack was launched as the Taliban and al Qaeda released propaganda denouncing the Pakistani Army.

A suicide bomber rammed his car packed with explosives into the Saddar police station in the settled district of Kohat in Pakistan’s violent Northwest Frontier Province.

Eight Pakistanis, including policemen and civilians, were reported killed in the attack, and another 20 have been wounded. “Some school children are among the dead,” a policeman at the scene said, according to a report at Dawn.

Today’s suicide attack is the fifth since Oct. 5, the day after newly appointed Pakistani Taliban chief Hakeemullah Mehsud announced that attacks would take place nationwide if the military does not halt operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the Swat Valley.

Suicide attacks in Peshawar, Islamabad, and Shangla, along with today’s attack in Kohat and a terror assault on Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, have killed 116 Pakistani civilians and security officials and wounded hundreds more.

Both al Qaeda and the Taliban have weighed in against Pakistan’s Army with the release of propaganda tapes. Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda second in command, and Hakeemullah both castigated Pakistan’s Army for fighting the groups in the northwest.

In a videotape released on the Internet, Zawahiri said that Pakistan’s Army serves the “Crusader” US and NATO, and is attempting to stave off their defeat in Afghanistan.

“At this moment Pakistani forces are playing the central role in this crusade that has been imposed on Islam and Muslims,” Zawahiri said, according to a report in AKI.

“And this [Pakistan Army] has completely become a tool for the crusaders against its own public, neighbouring countries and the Islamic world,” he continued.

Hakeemullah said his fighters would array against India if operations in the tribal areas ended.

“We are fighting the Pakistan army, police and the frontier corps, because they are following American orders,” he said, according to a report in AKI.

“If they stop following their orders, we will stop fighting them,” Hakeemullah continued. “We want an Islamic state. If we get that, then we will go to the borders and help fight the Indians.”

The propaganda campaign is designed to split sympathetic members of the Army and other security forces from those willing to battle the Islamist extremists attacking the Pakistani state.

Major attacks in Pakistan since Oct. 5:

Oct. 15, 2009:

A suicide bomber rammed a car into a police station in Kohat, killing eight people, including policemen and children.

Oct. 12, 2009:

A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as a military convoy passed through a checkpoint in a market in Alpuri in Shangla. In the attack, 41 people were killed, including six security personnel.

Oct. 10, 2009:

An assault team attacked the Army General Headquarters and took 42 security personnel captive. Eleven soldiers were killed, including a brigadier general and a lieutenant colonel, along with nine members of the assault team; and 39 hostages were freed.

Oct. 9, 2009:

A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives in a bazaar in Peshawar, killing 49 civilians.

Oct. 5, 2009:

A suicide bomber entered the World Food Program office in Islamabad and detonated his vest, killing five UN workers, including an Iraqi.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.


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